How To Build A Firm Booty After 40
If you’re like me you’ve probably noticed your once-perky butt making a slow spread over the years, especially if you’ve spent most of your days in an office chair. Maybe you’ve just accepted that it just a part of the aging process. While that might be true to some extent, you don’t have to give up on having a firm booty completely. However it will take a little more effort than it did perhaps 15 years ago. The good news is that it is possible to build a firm, round booty after 40. It just takes the determination and the right ingredients to have the booty-envy of women half your age!
Factors that Affect Your Butt Shape and Size
Genetics— genetics are hardwired in us and there is only so much we can do about it. Genetics determine how much fat and muscle our body has and where it is stored. It explains why some women have a small upper body, and very large hips, while others gain weight more proportionally throughout their body.
Diet and Exercise are the other two main factors in how big your butt is and what it is made of. If you eat a lot of fatty foods and don’t exercise, chances are your booty is big, but not the “good” kind of big that we’re looking to acheive here.
Bottom line is that we just have to work with what God gave us. The keyword being “work” here. It’s the same as your facial features….you can’t change them (without major surgery), but you can use makeup and other tricks to flatter your best features. Therefore, we can also use exercise and diet to take care of the body we were born with. No matter the shape and size, your body is amazing and deserves the best nourishment and care we can give it.
Key Components to Building a Great Butt
Genetics aside, the biggest component to achieving a firm, shapely butt is D-I-E-T. I know, I know, we hate that word. But I want you to reframe what the word diet actually means in this case. Instead of associating it with bland food and starvation, or some crazy restrictive eating plan, the word diet here simply means your daily eating habits.
Yes, that may mean eating less, staying away from the obvious junk food. But in most cases, building a firm body requires you to eat MORE and more often than you probably realize.
In order to build a nice, firm booty (or any other body part), you need to eat clean, fresh food. Your body also needs a steady supply of food throughout the day to keep your metabolism burning.
How Often Should I Eat?
If you haven’t heard by now, eating only one or two large meals a day actually stalls your metabolism. Your body is a very intelligent machine, and without a steady supply of good food, it will go into starvation mode.
When this happens, your body will slow your metabolism to conserve and store fat to sustain you.
In order to keep your metabolism humming, you need to eat 5 small meals per day. Your meals should consist of the right amounts of carbs, protein and healthy fats. Some examples are listed below:
Good Protein Sources
- Lean beef and pork
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Protein bars and shakes (look for very low sugar)
- Avocados (⅛ of an avocado is a serving of fat, not a HALF OR WHOLE)
- Nuts and nut butters–almonds, walnuts, cashews.. Try to stay away from peanuts and peanut butter
- Olive oil
- Flax seeds/meal
- Brown rice (try to avoid quick cooking if possible)
- Sweet potatoes
- Yellow or new red potatoes (not russet)
- Whole grain breads (in moderation)
- Steel cut oats (avoid quick cooking or flavored oatmeals)
- Whole grain pasta (in moderation)
- Beans and Lentils
Food to Avoid
- Processed foods–try to eat your foods as close to their natural state as possible
- Processed sugar
- White or bleached foods made with white flour, white bread, white rice
- Heavy creams and lard
- Breaded and fried foods
- Sodas of any kind- this includes diet sodas
- Alcohol–it’s best to avoid it completely, but I will have at least one glass of wine with my weekly cheat meal.
How Do I Know What Foods Belong to Which Macronutrient?
Although some of these foods may have other elements, these foods are best classified according to what their main macronutrient is. For example, yes nuts are high in protein, but it is an incomplete plant protein. Nuts are also very high in fat.
Consequently, you’d have to consume WAY too much in fat and calories to get the amount of protein you need. Therefore, it’s categorized as a good fat.
Beans are good sources of protein, but very high in carbohydrates. And again, they are an incomplete protein. You’d be consuming way too many carbs to get the amount of protein you need from beans alone. So beans are a better source of carb than protein.
The best way to learn about these foods is to read and understand nutrition labels or use a nutrition app to look up the nutrients of different foods.
Contrary to popular belief, simply reducing your calories may help you lose a few pounds in the short term, but it won’t help fuel the muscle toning and growth required to build up those glutes. We want an ample bum, but not a large, squishy one riddled with cellulite, right?
**NOTE: Before attempting any exercise, make sure you check with your doctor. Consider any physical limitations, and if you feel sharp pains in your joints or muscles, discontinue immediately.
Yep, I said it. You knew it was coming, right? Unfortunately, there is no other way (other than drastic surgical measures) to get a firm, round booty without putting in some sweat equity.
A round lean butt consists of lean muscle and lots of it. The glutes are a very large muscle group that requires a consistent amount of targeted physical demand in order to stimulate repair and growth.
A leisurely ride on a bike or a walk in the park is better than nothing, but it won’t help you get a great butt. You need a mix of cardio for fat burning and some weight bearing exercises to build muscle tone. So what will help? Here are the best exercises to get your bum from flat to fab in no time!
Cardio— You should aim for cardio that focuses on legs and glutes such as climbing stairs or bleachers, elliptical, or running at an incline either hills outdoors or treadmill.
Squats— Squats are tried and true method of working all of the large muscles in the legs, glutes, and lower back.
You can either use your own body weight, dumbbells in each hand, or a weighted bar across your shoulders.
Stand a with your feet shoulder-width apart.. Start squatting down with your butt back as if you were going to sit in a chair behind you. Slowly squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Make sure your knees don’t go too far over your toes. Your back should be straight, not rounded, head upright. Come back up from the squat position slowly, squeezing the glutes at the top of the movement.
Lunge— These REALLY target the glutes if done correctly. From the standing position, step one leg forward and bend at the knee, keeping the thigh parallel to the floor. Your back knee should be bent, so that your hip, knee, and ankle are in line with each other. Again, make sure your knee does not extend too far past your toes, and that you aren’t leaning too far forward or back. You should be just lowering your back knee straight down. Then push your body back up, and repeat. Aim for 3 sets of 15-20 reps on each leg.
Rear Leg Extension— You can perform this one with ankle weights, resistance band looped around both ankles, or at the gym using an ankle cuff at the cable machine. Start by standing straight. Raise your straight leg behind you as high as you can as you contract the glute. Hold for a couple seconds then slowly bring your leg back to the starting point. Do 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps on each side. Make sure you maintain proper form.
Plyometric exercises: **You should not perform these if you have joint problems. I’ve included a modified low impact option where available.
Jump Squats— Start from a squat position and explode up with your arms in the air. Land softly back into a squat position. Do 2-3 sets–15-20 seconds each set with a 30 second rest in between each set.
** You can modify this exercise by slightly squatting down, and raising each knee above your waist. So it goes like this: Right knee raise above the waist, slight squat, left knee raise, return to slight squat. Repeat for 3 sets, 15-20 seconds with a 30 second rest in between each set.
Frog jumps— Squat down on the floor with your hand between your knees. Jump up and forward about a foot, landing in the same position, then jump backward, landing in the same position. Do not round your back, keep it straight with your head up. It doesn’t have to be a high jump, just enough to get you off the ground a bit. Do as many as you can do for 15-20 seconds.
HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) gives you the best of both worlds-cardio AND muscle building moves. HIIT training involves short bursts of intense activity followed by a short rest period. Some examples of HIIT training are Tibata-style workouts like Insanity, doing intervals of walk/run outside or on the treadmill, or any workout where you are cycling periods of work with recovery.
Finally, the last major component for building up your ASS-ets is rest and recovery. The recovery period is where all the magic happens. Your body builds up muscle to handle the extra demands being placed on them. It also repairs the muscle that was broken down by exercise. For this reason, taking the time to give your body time to recover during workouts is vital to achieving those buns of steel.
In the case of exercise, there is a point where more is NOT better. When you overtrain your muscles, you can actually cause more harm than good. You could end up being out of commission for days, weeks or months with an injury. Additionally, overtraining can also cause extreme fatigue and even affect your emotional health. So make sure you get some rest!
Aim to target these large muscle groups 2-3 days per week, with a day of rest in between more strenuous workouts.
Let’s Do This!
There you have it! Building a great booty after 40 may take a little extra work if you’re over 40 than it did 15 or more years ago, but it’s not impossible. With careful planning, determination, and improvements to your diet and exercise routine, you can build a booty that’s worthy of praise from J-Lo herself!
Take care and don’t give up!